Illustration by arch. Matteo Pericoli
I often stay at a high-rise hotel in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo to write. From the window of my room, I can see both a new skyscraper and a big park. When I look at the skyscraper, I think about the people who died before it was finished and never got to see it. It’s like a visual image of the truism that once you’re dead, there aren’t any more new sights for you. A lot of homeless people live in the big park. The blue vinyl tarps of their crude shelters are clustered throughout the grounds, but from this window all you can see are the leafy green trees.
Ryu Murakami is the author of “In the Miso Soup.” Matteo Pericoli, an artist, is the author of “The City Out My Window: 63 Views on New York.” This essay was translated by Ralph McCarthy from the Japanese.